California Assembly Bill 205 Lead Witness Lydia Ramos and Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund Statements on Passage of Critical Domestic Partner Legislation

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June 5, 2003

(Los Angeles, Wednesday, June 4, 2003) -- In response to the passage of California Assembly Bill 205, the following statements were issued today by Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, a national organization fighting for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. Lambda Legal has handled a number of cases that would have been unnecessary if AB 205 had been already in place for lesbian and gay couples. As well as assisting in drafting AB 205, Lambda Legal leads court challenges fighting for recognition of same-sex relationships. “Families in California badly need the protections this legislation will provide. We work with lesbian and gay couples all across California who cannot take care of each other or their children effectively because the law treats them like strangers. By passing this legislation, the California Assembly is taking a giant leap forward in letting families protect their relationships. This bill won’t solve everything for lesbian and gay couples in California, but it will improve thousands of families’ lives and bring us closer to true equality for our relationships.” -- Jennifer Pizer, Senior Staff Attorney, Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund Pizer litigates Lambda Legal cases that advance domestic partner protections, secure the rights of lesbian and gay parents, and help end discrimination in employment, education, health care and housing. She is a consultant to state and local legislators, advises community groups and school boards, and speaks extensively on the need of LGBT families for full legal protections.

“My daughter was taken from me because in the eyes of the law, I wasn’t her mother. Although I went to court with the help of Lambda Legal and got my daughter back, AB 205 will protect other children from being torn away from their families.” -- Lydia Ramos, a witness in support for AB 205 when it was presented to the legislature on April 1, 2003 When Lydia Ramos lost her partner of 14 years in a car accident, it set off a chain of events that led to the couple’s daughter being taken from Lydia by hostile relatives. With Lambda Legal’s assistance, Lydia was reunited with her daughter and retains full custody of her.


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